4 Reasons To Attend The Well-Baby Clinic
Most medical centres run a well-baby clinic that's open to all new parents. These clinics may operate an appointment system or allow drop-ins, but as a new parent, you may be wondering what's on offer at the well-baby clinic. The clinics are staffed by trained midwifes or paediatric nurses who are on hand to answer any questions you have about your baby's health or parenting in general. Here's an overview of four reasons the clinic can be useful for new parents:
If you're new to breastfeeding, you may be surprised by the number of possible hurdles you can face when trying to get the breastfeeding relationship established. The well-baby clinic can provide information and help you overcome issues, such as mastitis, feeding a baby with reflux and finding breastfeeding positions that work for you and your baby. The nurses can observe your technique and advise you on expressing and safe storage of your milk.
If you're concerned about your baby's weight at any point, you can take them to the clinic to be weighed. Their weight will be recorded on a growth chart, which shows the normal range for the age of your baby. Having your baby weighed can provide reassurance if they've not been feeding well or if they've been ill. If your baby takes any prescription medication, the prescribed dosage will change as they grow and gain weight, so regular weight checks ensures they continue to receive a therapeutic dosage.
The weaning stage can be a time of anxiety for new parents. There's lots of conflicting information out there about the best way to wean a baby, and you may have questions about spoon feeding versus baby led weaning, portion sizes, how much milk your child should be drinking when they start solids and what to do if your child has an allergic reaction. Some well-baby clinics offer weaning classes that include information on the nutritional needs of your baby and baby-friendly recipes, but the nurses at the clinic are also able to answer any questions you have.
If you're worried about your child's development or are unsure if they should already be displaying certain skills or behaviours, such as waving, rolling over and making consonant sounds, have a chat with one of the clinic nurses. All babies are unique, but there are guidelines for when babies should reach certain developmental milestones. Taking your baby along to the clinic for a review can put your mind at ease, and if the nurse is concerned, your baby will benefit from early intervention.
These are just a few reasons to make use of your local well-baby clinic. The clinics are there to support you in those often difficult early stages of your parenting journey, so take the support that's on offer in this busy season of life.